Flawless flutes from a rail-riding router
The Federal Bookcase project from WOOD® magazine issue 131 (March 2001 or woodstore.net/fedbook.html) inspired me to flute the columns on the fireplace surround I was building for my new house. Because I didn't have a router edge-guide to make the fluting jig in the article, I came up with my own solution shown here.
I made the entire jig out of material from my scrap bin. I placed the guide cleats on the bottom so they slide easily along my workpiece. (They can be removed and reattached with screws for different-width workpieces.) Steel rods slide easily through the edge-guide sockets on my plunge router. I threaded one end of each with a die, and secured them to the fluting jig with lock nuts.
The router rides along the rods and secures in place with locking screws. I marked the centers of the flutes on the rod with a felt-tip pen and aligned each mark with the centerline marked on my router base before routing the flute. The stopblocks clamped to the ends of the workpiece ensure the flutes are all the same length. The two columns came out perfectly matched and dressed up the fireplace surround beautifully.
—Jon Norman, Henderson, Texas